Calm, composed, versatile superfood great in its nutritive offering is how it has been defined by many foodies and gourmet lovers. Also called as garden peas, they are small spherical seeds that come from pods. One of the most adored and used ingredients in many kitchens from our all-time favorite aloo mattar, pea pulao, mattar aur pyaaz ki Kachories, parathas with green pea filling, mattar paneer korma, and more. Green peas are one such ingredient that is naturally sweet legume rich in a number of our daily dietary requirements. The composition of this small yet wonderful ingredient is the pod and the pea within. The pods are rich in fiber and some of the softer varieties are consumed as well like the snow peas etc.
They are low in calories and good for our system and eases digestion as well to an extent,100 gms of green peas have around 81 calories approx. and its varied preparations from soups, salads, dips, stir fries, and curries make them all the more interesting to involve them in our diet plans.
Health Benefits Of Green Peas
- Green peas are considered heart-healthy food and their consumption in our diet in a number of healthy ways can add to the value of our system.
- Good for our skin, they contain fair amounts of fiber and antioxidants which protect us in many ways.
- Peas are also a good source of all the essential vitamins and minerals we need in our body like folate, iron, phosphorus, and more.
- Green peas are considered one of the best sources of plant-based proteins for us and they increase the levels of certain proteins in our body which reduce the number of calories consumed in a day as well.
- They are relatively low in glycemic index which is a measure known to check how quickly our blood sugar rises after eating food.
Uses Of Green Peas In The Kitchen
One of my all-time favorite with green peas is a bhuna mattar aur makkai ka shorba, peas and corn roasted and then tempered to a nice light soup, besides the Pudina mattar broth, cream of green peas soup, pea, and lentil puree soup.
Green peas are popular in Indian and both western cuisines as well from the fresh pea mash with fried fish, pea quenelles in sun-dried tomato sauce, pasta with pea pesto and basil, green pea soup with bacon and sunflower seeds, pea and potato croquettes, mashed potatoes with smoked peas, pea roesti and hash browns stuffed with minted pea mixture.
Indian recipes like mattar filling inside the famous Kachories, cooked mashed spiced peas filling inside parathas, in doughs for puries, also try adding dehydrated pea flour/powder into your dough for making parathas, etc it is tasty as well and the list gets even bigger looking at the way we add it to our subzis.
Mattar paneer, mattar aloo, Gobi mattar ki subzi, makhana mattar korma, pea pulao, mattar ka kofta in mildly spiced Indian gravies. while most of us love the winter fresh green peas, cleaning them is fun and storing them in our freezer keeps a bit of stock in hand as well,but we do have frozen options as well with green peas.
I also tried using green peas in a puree form converting it into gravies as well with the addition of a little spinach puree and cashew paste and coconut milk, which turned out nice with chicken and cheese koftas and also with soy chunks and mushrooms.
Green peas with rice also have a great connect from the basic ones to the layered ones, try peas with brown rice in a pulao form by flavoring with cinnamon and add a few chopped dates into it and give it a dum for few mins.
From the stir fry concepts to adding them to dips and spreads green peas are handy, helpful, tasty, and easy to include in almost every dish we wish to add content color and value.
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani is a Celebrity Master Chef. He is based in Mumbai and has varied experience with hotels and airlines. He is a food designer, author, food writer, consultant, and creative cuisine specialist.
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